The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity starts on 18th January. The theme is ‘You are witnesses of these things’ (Lk 24:38). Includes resources and podcast.

Podcast

This podcast made available from RNN.

In this podcast Gillian Kingston, Methodist Minister, Chaplain at UCD and member of the Irish Council of Churches, talks to Jo Smith about what Christian Unity means and why she feels that now, more than ever, its important to celebrate the ties that bind us.

Theme for 2010

You are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24 : 48 (NRSV)

The theme for 2010 comes from chapter 24 of Lukes gospel which is the central focus of this service. In this chapter we hear of how the Risen Lord appeared to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus and later how the Risen Lord opened the meaning of the Scriptures to the disciples before his Ascension.

The theme was chosen in Scotland, where churches were, at the same time, preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the 1910 World Mission Conference on the theme “Witnessing to Christ today”, which marked the beginnings of the modern ecumenical movement.

Resources

A brochure with liturgical texts and background information based on the work of a Scottish ecumenical preparatory group was jointly prepared and published by the (Roman Catholic) Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (PCCU) and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches (WCC)

Click on link to download – PCCU/WCC brochure

Click on link to download Ecumenical Prayer Service for Christian Unity

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Further resources – again based on the work of the Scottish ecumenical preparatory group – have been prepared by Churches together in Britain and Ireland. They are available in English and Irish.

Click on link to visit Resources page of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website

Click on link to download CTBI You are Witnesses resource


Prayer

O risen Christ,

On the road to Emmaus you were the disciples companion.Be at our side on the journey of faith on lifes pathways and at every encounter, engender our compassion so that we may welcome others and listen to their stories.

Kindle anew the desire to proclaim your Word. May it illumine us and may our hearts burn to bear witness to it. May your Holy Spirit teach us the art of explaining scripture and open our eyes to recognize you. Grant us the courage to become vulnerable so that our sisters and brothers may know you through us and that we may know you through them.

Amen

History

In 1908, the Rev. Paul Wattson, a North American Anglican priest, founded the “Octave for unity”. The Faith and Order movement began publishing “Suggestions for an octave of prayer for Christian unity” in 1926.

In 1966, the WCC Commission on Faith and Order and the Roman Catholic Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (now known as the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity-PCPCU) began official joint preparation of materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Joint publication of identical texts began in 2004, printing of all brochures by the WCC in 2006. Texts and additional worship material for the week of prayer now appear on the WCC website in English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Click on link to access these resources on website of World Council of Churches